AG Says Pot Use Shouldn’t Disqualify MI Residents From Unemployment Benefits
I agree 100% with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel that says legal marijuana use shouldn't be grounds to disqualify someone from unemployment benefits. It's the same as saying that someone that drinks beer should be disqualified for their unemployment benefits. It really doesn't make any sense especially because it's legal here in Michigan.
The only reason this is coming up is because there's been a few cases on the topic that recently fell before the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Commission. According to MLive, In each case, an employee was required to take a drug test and it was determined they had marijuana metabolites in their system.
Now here's where it can get a little sticky. One guy crashed a company car, the other injured himself on the job, and the third was hospitalized after getting injured on the job. It's not clear though if they were high prior to their incidents. The employers tried to use marijuana findings to deny them their unemployment benefits. In two of these cases, the judges sided with employees. However, that wasn't the case with the other.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel
The people spoke loud and clear when they voted in 2018 to legalize marijuana once and for all. Nobody over 21 can be penalized or denied any right or privilege solely for legally using marijuana, and employers cannot control their employees’ private lives by calling the legal use of marijuana outside of work hours ‘misconduct
Look, a person should still be allowed to collect unemployment benefits even if they were fired for marijuana use while off the clock. I believe that if you're doing something legal in your own private time, it shouldn't be an issue.
For too long, marijuana had been widely perceived by policymakers as a corrupter of the social fabric—a theory riddled with racial stereotypes and resulting in severe over-incarceration, among other things. To close the chapter on this sordid history, the people broadly expressed their intent ‘to prevent arrest and penalty for personal possession and cultivation of marihuana’ with the adoption of the” Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.
For the most part, it's still a relatively new situation that we're dealing with here and eventually, it'll all get figured out. I mean, marijuana's only been legal since 2019. But it's going to take people like Nessel to make it happen.